Thursday, 5 May 2011

Social-networking celebrity-style

The age of social-networking is upon us. We can all exchange information with countless people around the world at the touch of a button. We can also track and get in touch with people from our past we wouldn't otherwise do.

This modern-day phenomenon started with the launch of sites such as Friends Reunited, My Space and now, global Facebook.

I am unashamedly part of this process but constantly have to reassess whether it is a force for good or not.

We have all met people in our pasts we would rather not meet again. People who may want to contact us but not vice-versa. People who will send us a 'friend request' and we feel obliged and compelled to accept so as not to appear rude. People we did not give our phone numbers or addresses to, can now trace us.

I have long suspected most of us are diluting the word 'friend' by accepting colleagues and acquaintances as such.

Is it a good idea to allow casual acquaintances  access to our personal photos and other details that we never gave them in the first place?

Do we really want friends of friends viewing our snapshots and even knowing who we are in a relationship with?

Do we want our bosses to view our status, likes and dislikes, and posts meant for our friends? Or even knowing what we're up to on our days off?

Do we want the worlds marketing machine to target us with direct advertising?  I can't log in to my e-mail anymore without being bombarded with adverts on products I enquired about years ago and no longer require.

Where will it leads us...?

We're all living in the spotlight nowadays, centre-stage, like celebrities exposed to the world but without the wealth and  rewards our new-found status should bring.

Please let me know your views.



  1. it's the same as i always think . we accept them friends and make the word friend , not valuable as they supposed to be . they dont really care actlly .

  2. As I have only used FaceBook, I cannot speak to other social networking sites and how they work.

    For a while now I have thought that FaceBook ought to have a way to organize real friends, family, work connections and game acquaintances in a more formal way that the current groups.

    The game developers in particular are a concern, because they have FORCED the "friend" issue between people who have no reason to be friends, all in the name of getting people to do more and more ridiculous things in their games. Given that FaceBook was supposed to be a way to connect people back to each other I have found this to be troublesome. It appears that FaceBook allowed the games to force these types of connections needlessly and without being checked. Strangers from around the globe are now able to see anything and everything that people really only want to share with their true friends and family, and users are powerless to separate them in any way from seeing what is not game related.

    A constant reminder from the Hubster to our oldest daughter is to think carefully about what she posts and the photos she puts on her FaceBook page. The potential for current and future employers to use your FaceBook against you is high and does not allow for the things posted to be taken in true context. This is further proof that FaceBook needs to give the users some additional control over who they share their content with.

    The fact that they do not allow users to control what is visible to those that were specifically accepted for work related or game related purposes smacks of BIG BROTHER mentality. The more things proceed in this vein, the less we have a say in our own fates.

    When I look at the posts on my own FaceBook feed, I see nothing of any value anymore. The vast majority is warnings about viruses, links that are connected to viruses and generally impersonal posts. Actual friends and family only occasionally post things anymore and it is all very bland.

    I have long since removed all my personal identifiers from my Facebook related to current location and how to contact me -- even using an e-mail address that is specifically for this purpose.

    I was recently wondering if FaceBook has overplayed its hand enough that people will start looking to find alternative connection methods that have more user content control... I know I have been thinking for a while now that the reason I am on FaceBook is no longer the same as when I started and I have been considering dumping it altogether…

    I think the answer to your questions is an emphatic NO, we don’t want these things. That said, we have no reasonable alternatives and as such we have ceded control to others.

  3. just gotta go with the flow & u don't have to accept anyones friendsreq. cause if it's not someone u've met for ages anyway, u probably won't see them again, so they can't confront u about it. & even if they did, just say u only use it for close family and friends. which i thiknk most people understand.

  4. Aishah: true comment, thanks

    Anon: Good idea,so by changing your settings you can prevent non-friends from snooping. Thanks

    Momma:I guess the only way is to change your settings and make all your data visible to friends only...uhmm, as you say, but the games are also an issue. I still feel uneasy about FBs REAL motives in providing a free-of-charge forum. I'm a sceptic who doesn't believe in free-lunches. Even the i-phone is tracking its users whereabouts 24/7. Thanks for your comment :)